GMG’s frozen foods brand Farm Fresh diversifies into healthy snacking category to capture Zillennials

By Hui Ling Dang

- Last updated on GMT

Farm Fresh recently debuted its latest sub-brand called Shnax. ©GMG
Farm Fresh recently debuted its latest sub-brand called Shnax. ©GMG

Related tags GMG Middle east healthy snacking

UAE conglomerate Gulf Marketing Group (GMG)’s frozen foods brand Farm Fresh has unveiled its latest growth strategy by shifting its focus to healthy snacks, specifically targeting “older Gen Zs and younger millennials”.

Farm Fresh debuted its latest sub-brand called Shnax, which comprises chicken chips in various flavours, at Gulfood in February.

Claimed to be made out of 100% chicken, the chips are aimed at “reshaping the snacking landscape, offering consumers a healthier, protein-rich snacking option, and showcasing the company’s growth”.

“In the last couple of months, we talked to our customers and realised that generally, people who consume frozen food products, such as chicken nuggets and fries, are the younger ones who have an interest in music, art, and gaming. They eat these foods like a snack. 

“Based on these insights, as well as data from the region and around the world, snacks is the fastest-growing category at the moment. That says a lot about current market trends and where the world of food is moving towards. From an innovation perspective, we recognised the need to reposition Farm Fresh as a brand through our snacking options,” ​Roy Nasrallah, Vice President of Marketing at GMG, told FoodNavigator-Asia​.

The demand for healthier snacks led to the birth of Shnax, developed to appeal particularly to the “Zillennials (people born between 1992 and 1998)”.

This was reflected in GMG’s stand at Gulfood, which was designed in collaboration with the American University in Dubai to provide a lively and engaging experience.
For instance, arcade machines were incorporated to deliver a brand experience that seeks to resonate with its target audience.

“People these days tend to snack because of their fast-paced lifestyles, but they also want something healthy. They like to snack in the office during the day, and they snack when at home watching Netflix or gaming. And if you give them the option to snack in a healthy way, they wouldn’t say no.”

In addition, Nasrallah hinted at an “aggressive innovation pipeline” for the next 12 months, during which more new products under Farm Fresh are expected to be rolled out.

“As a Group, we are continuously finding ways to innovate and grow for all our brands, which serve different markets. This also gives us the opportunity to develop and launch new brands that cater to both the Middle Eastern region and global markets.

“Innovation is not only about product flavours and formats, but also how consumers experience our brand on a day-to-day basis. For instance, when we look at the snacking category, we take into consideration consumer habits such as gaming.”

Spicing up the market

Apart from Shnax, the firm introduced another new brand called AL SERR, consisting of a range of spices, sauces and condiments that are formulated to go well with Middle Eastern cuisine, at the trade show.

This comes after the launch of RUH, a spices brand that is said to centre on Asian cuisine, just a few months ago.

“Furthermore, we have Sapora in our spices portfolio, which caters more towards [pairing with] western cuisine, so we really serve diverse consumers in markets around the world. For spices, we are focusing on our home ground— the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region. We’re also looking at South East Asia and North America.

“For Farm Fresh and Shnax, we want to win in MENA, though there is interest in Farm Fresh across the globe. The response that we have received for our Shnax chicken chips at the show has been very encouraging too,” ​Nasrallah shared.

At the same time, GMG has expressed its commitment to contributing to food security in the UAE.

“For over four decades, GMG’s Everyday Goods – Food division has delivered high-quality, nutritious food products to consumers.The company’s ‘Farm to Fork’ strategy covers the entire food consumption chain, from homegrown food brands to retail stores that distribute a plethora of brands.

“We have invested a lot in our infrastructure, factories, employees, and brands to serve the needs of the UAE. We are also working with the government to be part of the country’s long-term food security strategy.”

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